4. Detroit Lions
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The Detroit Lions get their first fourth-place finish of the rankings and it comes in a very unsurprising fashion.
They ranked dead last in yards per carry last season (3.4) and yards per game (76.4). This failure was due to a number of reasons. First, they are certainly a pass-first team and like to sling it all over the yard with Matthew Stafford. Second, their offensive line struggled to create rushing lanes for their backs. And finally, their running backs struggled to hit those holes when they were created.
The Lions were so one-sided last season that teams would often rely solely on their front seven to stop the run and it worked more times than not. Of course, it didn’t help their leading rusher, Ameer Abdullah, only accrued 552 yards and a 3.3 yards per attempt average.
Abdullah still has some potential as a nice running back, but his game is more suited as a versatile playmaker. Also, Theo Riddick is a solid pass-catching threat which must be noted here.
Most notably, they added 31-year-old LeGarrette Blount and second-round pick Kerryon Johnson. Each of those guys should help, but the division is too stacked at the position for them to move up until the results are produced on the field.